In a patristic lection offered by the Liturgy of the Hours, S Ambrose reminds us that the first thing our blessed Lady did after the Annunciation was to hurry into the hill country to visit Elizabeth; and asks, rhetorically, 'For whither, now Full of God [plena Deo], should she hurry if not to higher places?'
Pace Fr Zed, the greatest of the Roman poets was not Horace, but Publius Ovidius Naso, whose rococo imagination and baroque syntax would have made him a most wonderfully Counter Reformation Catholic, had he lived a millennium and a half later. In his youth, he appears to have written a tragedy called the Medea, of which only two fragments remain as citations in later rhetorical treatises. In one of these fragments, in a frenzy of indecision, Medea (whether before or after she so engagingly terminates her children in order to irritate her husband, we do not know) apparently cried feror huc illuc, ut plena deo.
In Roman literature, it is not unnatural for one in the grip of madness or, indeed, merely alcohol, to be called Full of (a) God, because Roman deities were often personifications of dangerous or even disastrous things (J G Frazer once acutely observed that if the Romans had had bicycles they would undoubtedly have sacrificed to the Goddess Punctura to persuade her to stay away from their tubes). I wonder if S Ambrose was consciously transposing this witty topos from the demented and mythological Medea to the reality of a Palestinian Girl who had God Eternal and Incarnate an inch or two south of her fallopian tubes.
A Christ Mass greeting to all readers.
Precibus suffulti Virginis Deo plenae, ad superiora cum festinatione omnes contendatis, et mei indigni sacerdotis sitis memores.